Canada’s Chief of Defence Staff has ordered a review of military programs and policies in response to this week’s cover stories in L’actualité and Maclean’s.
Journalists Noémi Mercier and Alec Castonguay spent a year delving into the culture of sexual violence in the Canadian Forces.
They discovered there are five sexual assaults every day in the Forces, after poring through documents obtained through the federal Access to Information Act—a notoriously slow process that often produces heavily redacted documents.
“We actually found that the Canadian Forces were quite collaborative,” said Mercier. “The hard part was finding victims and convincing them to talk to us.”
Mercier’s father is a retired officer from the Canadian Forces, and she spent the first few years of her life on the base in Valcartier, Que.
“I like to say that this is a story that I did out of love—not at at all out of an anti-military sentiment,” said Mercier, who added that she respects the people who choose to serve in the Forces. “The reason why I wanted to do this story so much is that I want men, but also women especially, to be able to make that choice without fear.”
Mercier’s interview with Melinda Maldonado will be broadcast on Maclean’s on the Hill this week. Listen to an extended version of the interview here: